Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy birthday Wikipedia

Happy tenth birthday Wikipedia. The Diary Review could not exist without it!

Wikipedia provides many of the leads for The Diary Review thanks to its events listings for every date throughout the year. Also, Wikipedia has become the very best encyclopaedic source of biographical and historical information, and because of this almost every story on The Diary Review carries a link to it.

When I first started compiling data for The Diary Junction, in 2005, I still relied a lot on my printed volumes of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Today, in writing articles for The Diary Review, I use Wikipedia twenty or thirty times for every one visit to the Britannica volumes. There are three reasons for this: the vast amount of information available through Wikipedia; the ease of access (directly on the computer); and the level of accuracy. Since I am cross-checking Wikipedia information all the time for The Diary Review, I have noticed how that information has improved in terms of accuracy and being able to rely on it.

However, I have had my issues with the Wikipedia folk, mostly because I am not allowed to add links from Wikipedia articles to The Diary Junction or The Diary Review. When I’ve tried this once or twice, Wikipedia guard dogs have jumped on me, and threatened to blacklist me. They have an issue with anyone creating links to their own website and pages, even if those links might be useful and bona fide. Since I often use Wikipedia’s external links I can say with confidence that many of them are far less useful, and far more commercial, than links to The Diary Junction and The Diary Review would be.

But a big thank you to Wikipedia, and all the best for the next 10 years.

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